Table of Contents


This is an introduction to my work.

Mary Ann Nichols

Anne Chapman

Elizabeth Stride

Catherine Eddowes

Mary Jane Kelly

Jack the Ripper’s Other Potential Victims

Jack the Ripper’s First Thoughts

Behavioral and psychological profile

Aaron Kosminski

Charles Cross

Thomas Cutbush

Prime Suspect

In conclusion

Jack the Ripper, arguably the world’s most notorious serial killer, is still alive and well today. In 1888, Jack terrorized London, killing and mutilating at least five female victims. Jack has eluded the best criminal minds for decades. He was never identified or caught. We may never be able to know Jack’s real identity, despite the many theories that have been put forth over the years. This paper will explore this case from a criminological perspective. We will then analyze the Canonical Five – the five confirmed victims – as we do those that are suspected to have also been victims. Then we will analyze Jack’s life and create a criminal biography. This information will help us create a list for suspects and to identify the most likely Jack the Ripper.

IntroductionIn any serial killing case, selecting the victim is one of the most important aspects of the crime. Finding commonalities between victims may help to identify the perpetrator. We need to understand Jack the Ripper’s victims if we are to understand him. There are five victims who are generally accepted as being Jack the Ripper’s. They are called “The Canonical Five”. Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel legend centers around the murders that took place on these five female victims. The similarities between them will be highlighted, as well as the reasons why Jack chose to kill these five women. In addition, many women have claimed that the Ripper also victimized them over the course of time. Based on the profile of each victim, we will determine if that person was a Ripper victim. We can estimate the number of victims Jack the Ripper had in total based on the information we have.

Emily Hollard described Mary Ann Nichols’s death, which occurred on August 31st 1888, as “a very sane woman who always seemed secluded”. She was also a known alcoholic. William Nichols was her husband for more than 20 years. They had five children together. Mary Nichols and William Nichols were married for over 20 years. They had five children together. William stopped her support payments after discovering the truth. Mary had to live in workhouses for some time. She was drunk and stumbling on the night she died in 1888. She was seen in the act of prostitution, earning money to pay for her lodging at Wilmott’s Lodging House. A carman discovered her body around 3:40 A.M. on Buck’s Row the following morning. The officer was alerted. A carman found her body the next morning around 3:40 AM. He alerted the nearest police officer of his discovery. The abdomen was also covered with deep cuts. These deep cuts were made with a sharp, large knife and a lot of force.

Anne ChapmanAnnie Chapman’s drinking problem was recognized, although she was not deemed an alcoholic. The reason she split from John Chapman may have come down to this. She began prostitution after John’s death and had an affair with Edward Stanley, who was a pensioner. Few days before she died, Eliza Cooper was physically attacked by her rival. Anne began to feel ill a few weeks after the physical altercation. Elizabeth Long witnessed her walking with a stranger on Hanbury St. in the early evening. A scream was heard, as well as something hitting a wall. Mary Ann Nichol had been murdered not far from this location. Her abdomen was also disemboweled. Mary Ann Nichol was murdered with an instrument that looked similar. Annie’s crime suggested the killer needed to be an anatomical expert.

Elizabeth StrideElizabeth Stride was 44 years old when she died on September 30,1888. She was quiet but willing to help anyone. She was arrested for disorderly conduct and drunkenness. She was registered in 1865 as a prostitute, but she earned money by sowing, charring and receiving payments from Michael Kidney. Michael Kidney lived with her at various times until she died. She had children in 1869 with John Stride. John Stride’s death in 1884 brought the marriage to a complete end. She was often absent when she moved in with Michael Kidney, 1885. She would drink. She was spotted leaving Bricklayer’s Arms Public House on the 30th of September, with a male companion whom she kissed and hugged. The man described was dressed in a suit. Israel Schwartz, who was a resident of the neighborhood, turned onto Berner Street that evening at about 12:45. He saw a male talking to what he presumed to have been Elizabeth. He saw her fall to the floor and heard the woman screaming. On the other side of street was a man. The man who had thrown Elizabeth to the floor yelled at him “Lipski”, the insult for Jews. Schwartz ran away when the man in question began heading towards him. Elizabeth’s remains were discovered very soon, still hot. The throat of Elizabeth was still intact, but no mutilations had been performed. This suggests that Jack the Ripper had fled before he could perform a mutilation.

Catherine EddowesCatherine Eddowes had a temper that was fierce. Catherine Eddowes died in 1888 at age 46. In 1888, at the age of 21, she began a relationship with Thomas Conway. They had three children together. The couple separated in 1881. John Kelly was a market vendor when she lived at Cooney’s. Catherine was described as “a jolly woman”, who drank occasionally but not too much. She did not like to walk on the street. Elizabeth and John both struggled with money. On 29 September, Elizabeth informs John that her daughter will lend her money. She is arrested for drunkenness later that night and released shortly after. When she leaves, however, the woman heads the other way, back in the direction she had been found drunk. Last seen at 135 A.M. she was with a 30 year old man with fair skin, a mustache, and medium height. The man who was seen with Elizabeth Stride had a similar description. Her body was found shortly after. Her body was mutilated and her throat was deep cut. Her intestines and other body parts were moved or removed.

Mary Jane KellyMary Jane Kelly died in 1888 at age 25. According to her acquaintances, she was always sober even though she would get boisterous when she drank. She was quiet and reserved. Others found her attractive and liked her. Joseph Barnett was her boyfriend before her death. She may have had her first child at the age of 16. Three years later her husband was murdered, and she moved to Cardiff where she became an prostitute. She was very sick and spent many days in the hospital. She worked as a prostitute in London’s high society brothel. While in Paris, she accompanied another person but returned home. Mary Barnett and her husband Joseph met in 1886 at Cooley’s Lodging House. Barnett and Mary were notorious for getting into trouble when drunk. In 1888, Barnett quits Mary after losing his employment, but he still visited her often. On November 8th, she was spotted drinking at the Britannia in London with an obliging man. She returns to her Miller’s Court room, where they stay until about 2:00 AM, at which point she leaves to look for money. About an hour later, she returned with a second man. The police found her body mutilated in her room the following morning. Her breasts and face were severed and mutilated, as were her organs. Her neck had also been cut to the bone.

Other Jack the Ripper possible victimsBefore, after, and in the area of Whitechapel there were many other murdered females who have, over the decades, been argued as being Jack the Ripper’s victims. While the theories differ in terms of location, manner of death, and condition of body when discovered, it has been debated for years by theorists whether these murders were committed by the Ripper. Several women survived attacks from Jack. We will investigate some of the cases to see if there is any reason to suspect these women of being Rippers.

As I’ve mentioned, a number of women were attacked, but they survived. Anne Millwood Annie Farmer Ada Wilson may have been Ripper victims before the mutilations. The attacker(s), who escaped, stabbed these women, but they lived. In general, they’re regarded by the public as victims of an armed robbery that went wrong. The Canonical Five were attacked so brutally that I am convinced they are dead. These women were not Rippers because the Ripper never stole any personal items. Emma Smith, another woman, was attacked and robbed, raped, and beaten by four youths. The attackers could have been Whitechapel prostitute robbing gangs.

In other cases, body parts belonging to a woman have been discovered. The River Thames was the scene of body parts being discovered in both the Whitehall Mystery case and the disappearance of Elizabeth Jackson. In the Pinchin street murder, where the victim may have been Lydia Hart, the torso of a woman was found under a railroad arch. The Whitehall and Pinchin streets murders may have been connected but at the same time, the police had no reason to believe that the crimes were linked to Jack the Ripper. I believe that the mutilation was done to both fulfill his sexual fantasies while also making a statement to the finders of the bodies. So, he wouldn’t have gone as far as disposing of bodies, like the Canonical Five. Jack wouldn’t have dismembered the body and hidden the different parts.

Jack is suspected to be responsible for other murders, but it’s not clear if they are Jack or not. Rose Mylett was a prostitute from the Whitechapel district who was killed about a month after Mary Jane Kelly’s murder. Her death was determined as a result of strangulation. However, her throat was left intact. Jack would not have cut her throat, nor would he have mutilated her.

Carrie Brown’s murder took place in the East River Hotel at Manhattan in New York 1891. The crime occurred many years after the case of Jack the Ripper. Her body had been mutilated. She also appeared to have been strangled. Ameer Bin Ali, a foreigner from Egypt, was charged with her murder but later released. It is not a Ripper case because it was in another nation, long after the Rippers were murdered, and a Danish boy could have been implicated.

Frances Coles’ murderer, in particular, has striking similarities to the Jack the Ripper victims. Before her death in February 1891, Frances Coles was involved in prostitution. James Sadler met her a few day before she died, and they spent a great deal of time together. Sadler had been robbed on the night of her murder. He and Frances argued, Sadler saying that Frances didn’t assist him. Sadler was involved with three more fights in the evening. Frances, while out soliciting, met Ellen Calana. Ellen had just been assaulted by an aggressive man. Frances decides to go with him, against Ellen’s advice. Sadler, who was originally charged with Frances’s murder, was cleared. There were no signs that she had been mutilated, even though her throat was cut. Due to the fact that the murder occurred more than two years after the last Ripper, I doubt that he’d wait that long before striking again. Although I wouldn’t be surprised, if the truth were revealed.

There are two victims who I think could have been Jack the Ripper’s victims based on their similarities in life and death to the confirmed Ripper victim. Martha Tabram was 38 when she died on 7 August 1888. Her husband Henry Tabram divorced her because of her heavy drinking and habitual late-night outings. Mary Ann Connolly was with her the night she died, as they went to solicit with a prostitute. They also drank alcohol with two other security guards. Martha disappeared with her guard into George Yard, a dangerous area of Whitechapel. Her body, which was found in the early morning hours the following day, had 39 stabs. They were concentrated on the breasts as well as the abdomen and throat. Some of the stab wounds may have been caused by an even longer, stronger blade than a small knife (Jones). Martha was probably an early victim because she was brutally murdered and the attack focused on certain parts of the human body. This occurred before the Ripper’s murders.

Alice Mackenzie seems to be another possible Ripper victim. She was killed on July 16, 1889 – just over a year after the last Ripper confirmed victim. She was nicknamed “claypipe”, despite knowing little about her early years. Her drinking and smoking habits earned her this name. The night of her murder, she was found drunk at the lodging house where she stayed, and she also had not paid the rent. She was also seen moving quickly in the direction of Whitechapel later that evening, where she would be discovered the following morning. She suffered wounds that are very similar to the other Ripper-victims. These include the area around her throat, abdomen, breasts and chest. This was confirmed by the fact that the Ripper had a right hand, but these wounds looked like they were caused by someone with a left. But I still think that Alice is a Ripper’s victim, because her killing was consistent. Jack may have used his left-hand during the struggle. As a result, some of Jack’s wounds look different.

The Ripper’s psychological and behavioral profile can be created based on all the evidence available: his victims, crime scenes, and witness testimonies. This may not be a true portrayal, but we can get a better idea of what the Ripper’s life was like before and after he committed these murders. We can also learn about his traumas and mental illnesses. These elements can help us identify the character.

Jack the Ripper: First ThoughtsWithout getting into the details of the evidence, we can make some general assumptions. The close proximity of each murder suggests that he was a Whitechapel resident and had knowledge of this area. This would help him to be able to identify his victims or to hide his murders. A strong desire to be sexual is also evident from the removal of sexual organs. It could have been a result of a childhood trauma. A prostitute was one of his victims, so he most likely provided the service. Jack was probably a skilled knifeman, as he mutilated his victims. This may have been related to his occupation which requires fine-tuned handwork and a sharpened knife. His ability to remove certain organs from victims may indicate that he is an expert in anatomy.

Behavioral and psychological profileBecause the Ripper’s victims were female and he specifically targeted the abdomen area of the victims, we can deduce that he is male. This may indicate that the Ripper is homosexual, especially if the victims are male. Female lust murderers were extremely rare during this period, but even more so in this case. The offender may want to blend in with the community he targets, and not look too out of place. He wants to appear wealthy, so he won’t have to contact his victims.

Looking back at his early childhood, he may come from a household where his father is absent or his mother is the most domineering parent. In this case, his emotional detachment from society and lack of care due to a lack of role models and proper care was the result. His anger could have been released in his childhood by setting fires or torturing animals. This is a common trait of serial killers. This fantasy would have led to a desire to abuse women violently (FBI). He would attempt to live these fantasies by working as a doctor or butcher. We can assume he was employed Monday to Friday because the killings took place on weekends.

Jack may have had a negative self-image. It may be that Jack was paranoid and thought he was being watched all the time, so he always carried a knife. He could also be suffering from a mental disorder or a physical disability.

Jack was drinking in local pubs and taverns before his murders. This would attract possible victims. Although he might not kill all prostitutes he encounters, maybe because of the lack of security in that area. He would have a plan for when and how to kill the victims. After killing his victims he would return into an area and clean himself. He would not deliberately enter into a police investigation because this case was so well-known. He believed that his actions would be justified by the fact that he removed “garbage”, from society.

We can create a list of suspects using this profile. With the growing complexity of the case, the number has increased to hundreds. Despite the many theories that have been proposed, none of them have proven to be conclusive. Some people believe he is a high-class man or doctor. Others believe he could be a Whitechapel local. While many suspects were included on the list after the investigation was completed, others, like Prince Albert Edward Victor and Lewis Carrol, had never even been considered.

Aaron KosminskiAaron Kosminski is a Polish Jew living in Whitechapel. He’s one of the most popular suspects. Senior Officer Melville Macnaghten stated that “this man had become insane… He was a person who had a hatred for the prostitutes and homicidal thoughts” (Jones). Kosminski also featured in Sir Robert Anderson’s memoirs, an officer of the same rank. Israel Schwartz was the most likely witness to his attack. Schwartz saw the Ripper’s face while attacking Elizabeth Stride. Aaron Kosminski was who? He moved to London from Poland in the early 1880s. His father was not with him. Kosminski worked as hairdresser for the Whitechapel murders. In the 1890s his mental health began to deteriorate. He was certified insane in 1891 and sent to Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum Colney Hatch.

Charles CrossCharles Cross has been mentioned as a suspect who was first to discover Mary Ann Nichols Body. Charles Lechmer. While he called himself that to investigators, he was really Charles Lechmer. Cross claims that he passed Buck’s Row on the evening of the murder and walked to the object he saw. It was a female. Robert Paul found him when he came to examine the body. The two men left the corpse and alerted an officer about it. Cross’ supporters will say that Paul interrupted Cross during the murder. Cross then attempted to cover the fact by saying he had been shocked after seeing the dead body. Cross’s route regularly leads him past three Ripper crime scenes: Annie Chapman and Catherine Eddowes. Mary Jane Kelly is also on the list. His mother’s home is also located close to where Elizabeth Stride found.

Thomas CutbushCutbush was another name added to the list of Ripper suspects in recent years. He was a disturbed man who was regarded as violent and possibly insane at the time of his murders. In 1891 he made a name for himself when he arrived at Lambeth Infirmary. Broadmoor Hospital was his final destination after he tried stabbing two women. The Sun reported in February 1894 that he may have killed prostitutes because he had contracted venereal diseases from prostitutes. The Sun newspaper in February 1894 reported that he had not committed suicide but was still a danger. Many violent incidents were described by him during his hospitalization. He was a medical student in his childhood. Some reports mention that he wore clothes stained with blood.

Aaron Kosminski was my first suspect when it came to Jack the Ripper. Aaron Kosminski is my prime suspect in the case of Jack the Ripper. He had a history of violent behavior and was also suffering from mental illness. This could have led to violent acts or even murder. His father was also absent when he immigrated with his family to Britain. It is unknown if he didn’t immigrate or had passed away before. This would have prevented him from having a father figure who was able to guide and protect him. In the beginning, he was a hairdresser. His fine hand-eye coordination would have been a perfect match for the cutting and mutilation of the victims. Israel Schwartz who was present at the Elizabeth Stride attack and two senior investigators were also witnesses to the incident positively identified him.

Kosminski is a suspect in my opinion, but I think that there are other people who could be involved. Kosminski, for example, was an immigrant who lived in London at the time of the murders. Some of these suspects had no connections to Whitechapel or the surrounding area when the murders were committed. Others, like Montigue John Druitt and Michael Ostrog did not have any connection. The murders were also committed in a certain way, which we know. George Chapman or Dr. Thomas Neill Cream are suspects who used poison. That rules them both out.

ConclusionThis case continues to puzzle some of today’s best criminologists after more than a century. And yet, we have not solved one of criminal history’s biggest mysteries. Although “Ripperologists”, who have been claiming to have the answer for years, are still in dispute within the Ripper’s community. Criminal experts have been arguing about Jack’s motivations, the victims he chose, and his identity. In truth, we might never really know who Jack the Ripper or why he perpetrated these horrific crimes all those years ago. Only the few pieces of evidence left after the crimes can help us infer what we believe he was. This is just an educated opinion based upon the available information.


  • marcosnguyen

    Marcos Nguyen is a 29-year-old blogger and teacher from Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, where he studied education and psychology. Marcos has been blogging since 2009, and he specializes in writing about education and parenting. He currently teaches middle school social studies and language arts.